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April in Paris, 1921

(A Kiki Button Mystery #1)

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Paris in 1921 is the city of freedom, where hatless and footloose Kiki Button can drink champagne and dance until dawn. She works as a gossip columnist, partying with the rich and famous, the bohemian and strange, using every moment to create a new woman from the ashes of her war-worn self.

While on the modelling dais, Picasso gives her a job: to find his wife’s
Hardcover, 299 pages
Published July 3rd 2018 by Pegasus Books
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Average rating 3.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  224 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
What a deliciously decadent story! As a big fan of historical fiction set in the 1920s, was I instantly intrigued by the story of APRIL IN PARIS, 1921 by Tessa Lunney, and I was thrilled to discover how wonderful the book was right from the very start. Let's start with the fact that very early on in the book there is a ménage à trois between our heroine, Kiki Button, Picasso and another woman. I'm not a fan of reading about very lengthy sex scenes, but Tessa Lunney manages to write this part and oth ...more
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
2.5 stars
With such a seductive cover and the promise of a waltz into Parisian life post World War I, with a female lead that echoes the great Miss Phryne Fisher, I couldn’t wait to delve into April in Paris 1921. This is the first instalment in the brand new ‘Kiki Button’ mystery series. I loved the catchy name of the central protagonist, Katherine King Button (Kiki Kangaroo). It was also very pleasing to see an Australia
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ozzie-gems
Move over Phryne Fisher, there is a new Aussie gal on the scene and Europe is her playground. Kikki Button is a lady of style and grace who is not afraid of mixing with self-assured panache. Back in Europe after escaping her wealthy parents Kikki will get a job from her close friend Bertie as a gossip columnist based in Paris. While the glitzy parties, drinking, and sex all have their charm, Kikki wants a little more excitement.

That will surprisingly come when modeling for Pablo Pica
This was a weird reading experience. Although I was interested, it was more out of sheer curiosity than a want to read. Everything was too simplistic. Too easy. Too perfect. I guess the idealised Paris in the 1920s was a nice backdrop, but there was no depth. No substance. There were sex scenes for no apparent reason and the relationships between Kiki and the supporting characters were so shallow. My feeling overall - eh. I love historical fiction, but this one just was not worth it.

Also, Pablo
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arc provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This is the first book in what I am hoping will be a long series, called A Kiki Button Mystery.

In the first book we are introduced to the glamorous, witty and charming Kiki Button: socialite, private detective and spy. It's 1921, and after two years at home in Australia, Katherine King Button has had enough. Her rich parents have ordered her to get married, but after serving as a nurse during the horrors of the Gr
The Library Lady
Kiki Button is essentially a Phryne Fisher wannabe. She's blond instead of black haired. Instead of being an Australian born English heiress who flees London for Australia, she flees to Paris. (Actually, Phryne herself may be prowling around Paris around this time.)Like Phryne, she served on the WWI battle lines, like Phryne she has fabulous clothes, is free with her sexual favors, and knows a lot of famous people. She's also a spy, working reluctantly for her war time controller, who has long c ...more
Hannah Ianniello
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of reading Miss Button’s adventure in an early form, and even then could not put it down. It made me giggle, blush, chortle and bight my fingernails, whilst swooning for the delicious details of the era, clothes, parties and gossip. So much fun, I will read it again and await book 2 eagerly!
Even when I'm not crazy about a book, I'll usually remark on it here. I can honestly say Tessa Lunney's debut, April in Paris, 1921, was not for me. On the other hand, I have a friend who loves poetry and Paris and even the sound of the main character, and she's excited about reading this book. Wouldn't the world be blah if we all loved the same books? All the more reason to share reviews because some of you may want to discover this novel.

Kiki Button was a nurse on the front lines d
Natasha Constantinou
I stumbled across this book by accident and was immediately enamored by its gorgeous cover. Paris in the 1920’s? What more could I wish for! However, my admiration for the book sadly swindled as I began to make my way through the first few chapters.

I found myself getting bored. I found it hard to relate to Kiki as the author doesn’t really spend much time giving the protagonist a back story and I was only going off what was on the blurb of the back of the novel. I found it really dis
Kiki Button, a former nurse and spy during WWI, is now a gossip columnist in post-war bohemian Paris who just wants to drown the memories of war with parties, booze, jazz, and sex... except her past isn't finished with her.

It sounds a little more exciting than it is. The majority of the first half of the book is primarily about Kiki hob-nobbing with the rich and famous, which is, to say the least, a bit boring. I understand it's setting the stage for the second half, but it's still b
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had trouble following this story...couldn't quite get past all the poetic riddles and so many multi-national characters. Call me a prude, but I found Kiki to be far too promiscuous for my liking and the key characters too flighty. But, perhaps this really was life in Paris in 1921. I gave up about half way through and finished with speed reading and skimming.
Deb M
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
April in Paris, 1921 is the first novel of Australian author Ms Tessa Lunney. The story begins with Australian Katherine King Button, the daughter of wealthy parents who is being pressured to marry, procreate and be the dutiful daughter. Katherine has served through the Great War as a nurse and vows never to take orders again. She flees Australia and her family constraints for a life of freedom and friendship in Paris. From here Katherine King Button becomes known as Kiki and enjoys a very inter ...more
Micah Horton hallett
Debut novelist Tessa Lunney delivers a protagonist that is well realised, passionate, strong and determined- and that is still capable of having a lot of fun as she roams 1920's Paris in search of a lost Picasso portrait and hunts down double agents.

Ms Lunney's attention to detail and idiom brings the period and place to life, and the plot and pacing are on par with the best of the genre. But what I appreciated most about April in Paris 1921 was the deft way in which the author so subtly portra
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adore Kiki Button and I loved this book! It's sparkling and beautifully written, sheer entertainment, a la Julian Fellowes or Alexander McCall Smith. Tessa is a wonderful writer and Kiki Button is a brilliant, brave, complicated and engaging heroine. There’s also something of irresistible Midnight in Paris feel to the novel, with all the glancing (and not so glancing!) encounters with luminaries such as Cocteau, Picasso, Tamara de Lempicka, etc, etc – although I loved all the supporting charac ...more
Bree T
I have some mixed feelings about this one.

I love the idea. The 1920s are an interesting time – the war is over, it was a time of regrowth, some decadence, etc. It’s still a bit early for the threat of Germany to rise (although there are rumblings) and there was good clothes, music, dancing, eating, drinking, laughing etc. I don’t really care about Paris as a setting – someone told me recently that Paris sells books and I know it’s super high on a lot of people’s wish lists and loves.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rollicking good fun, rich and vibrant detail with some gritty realism thrown in.
Sex, champagne, and espionage a heady mix!
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warning: this book may contain a ménage à trois in the first 30 pages, outrageous characters all vying for centre stage, a strong female character kicking ass, a love pentagon (as opposed to a love triangle), and the constant consumption of copious cocktails. For the Phyrne Fisher reader, this is charming vintage mystery with plenty of bohemian twists. While it is a thoroughly fun book (and that is the key word: fun) it also touches on the political aspect of a continent in turmoil. The geopolit ...more
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I don't like the 20's. They hold no interest for me. I only picked up this book b/c the cover art was so compelling.

But honestly, I found the main character to be without compelling virtue; I couldn't relate to her. I wouldn't want to be her friend. I also found the mystery aspect of it irritating. The clues were irrational, and basically, her "spymaster" already solved the mystery. He was just doling out the clues to her in bits and pieces. Kiki didn't "solve" anything. I'm not sure she was ev
Clare Rhoden
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
There are many, many things to like about this book. Paris! in the roaring twenties, with more Bright Young Things than you could poke a stick at. I loved the fashions, the streetscapes, the cafe scenes, the cocktails, and the wonderful way that Lunney creates the sense of a generation trying to put the horrors and privations of the Great War behind them. The myster(ies) within the story are interesting and intriguing.
The heroine, Kiki Button, is embarking on a career as a spy, detective,
Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian, 2018
I received a free copy in return for my honest review from the Beauty and Lace Book Club and Harper Collins.

I was captivated from the very first sentence of this book. I was right there with her, my hands wrapped around the rickety old radiator for warmth. Sadly, my engagement with the writing didn’t last beyond the first few chapters.

Kiki Button, a woman in her 20s escapes
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is like an Agatha Christie story on steroids. There is the theft of a a Pablo Picasso painting and a rogue double agent from the war that needs to be located and dealt with. The two stories link together in an exciting detective tale.

Katherine King Button, aka Kiki Kangaroo as she becomes known in Paris, was an Aussie nurse come spy in the Great War but on her return to Australia she can’t settle for the life her parents expect of her so she ups stumps and moves to Paris for freedom a
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't thank Tessa Lunney enough for introducing me to the pleasures of such a charming read. I'm so used to reading heavy nonfiction lately that I haven't had much chance to just stop and totally immerse myself in something as enjoyable as this.

This book is a great combination of light and shade. It's the kind of book that you should read if your brain tells you that you should be reading that history textbook but your heart wants you to just sit down and go on a romping adventure
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best thing about this book is beautiful 1921 Paris. What a fabulous look we get of the city post WWI, and the wonderful name dropping of society people who are The People to KNOW don’t you know. There’s also a lot of people still suffering from the war, so there’s lots of desperate gaiety, drinking, smoking and sex, to hide the war trauma, the loneliness and depression – and the memories. So this is not completely about Paris as ‘the city of dreams’ just yet…

Kiki has escaped her Australian
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The wilful and sexually-liberated Kiki Buttons has found freedom in the city of Paris, yet her liberty is threatened when her old spymaster reaches out to give her a mission. Yet nothing is as it seems as she becomes entangled with Pablo Picasso and his hunt for his wife's stolen portrait; and the growing political dissent that continues to divide countries, even after the war.

This book was gorgeously written, often finding myself entrapped in the romantic imagery that flirted with all my sense
Jade Wright
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This book transported me to Paris in 1921, to a world of artists, writers, poets and wine drinkers. To lust and sex and freedom. I learnt so much about World War 1 and the fashion in the 1920's. It was incredibly well researched and the writing holds a very flowery prose. The writer has captured the history and lifestyle of Parisian's in the 1900's perfectly. I'm usually not one to read historical fiction (besides Outlander OF COURSE), but Lunney managed to make April in Paris, 1921 really decad ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Who would not want to experience Paris in 1921? After the great war and the gaiety and freedom of drink and morals, may would.

Kiki Button, a former WWI nurse, finds herself as a gossip columnist and more. There is much fodder for her new profession from socialites to Picasso. There is more jumping in bed with whomever than fully fleshing out her job as a columnist.

Kiki had been enjoying the bohemian life of Paris in the 20's when she is lured back to spying/detective work
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is fun and had just enough “mysterious” moments to speed it along to becoming a decently entertaining series. It is most definitely a refreshing character in “Kiki” Burton, who is trying to escape her survival of WW I and her Repressive Australian upbringing. She returns to her beloved Paris post-war to establish her independence, find her freedom, all the while dealing with her new careers as detective and potential continued British spy. The fact that Kiki is such a young, strong, st ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Paris in 1921 is the city of freedom, where hatless and footloose Kiki Button can drink champagne and dance until dawn. She works as a gossip columnist, partying with the rich and famous, the bohemian and strange, using every moment to create a new woman from the ashes of her war-worn self.

While on the modelling dais, Picasso gives her a job: to find his wife’s portrait, which has gone mysteriously missing. That same night, her spymaster from the war contacts her—she has to find a do
I knew I had to read this because it punched all my buttons: Paris, mystery, and historical fiction. The first in what is sure to be an entertaining series, this novel sets the scene of Jazz Age Paris with captivating descriptions of the period's fashion, music, food and art, juxtaposed with war-weary Parisians and political rumblings. Kiki Button is the likeable and bravely witty heroine of this mystery/spy story that combines nightly parties of drinking, decadence, and dancing with intrigue, c ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is a very quick and breezy read. In the beginning, Kiki Button appears to be just a superficial party girl, very free with her sexual favors. A few layers were peeled back as the story progressed, showing that she has more depth to her after all, including a history as a wartime nurse - and spy. I very much enjoyed the look at the café society in Paris as the city recovers from the war, and society as a whole during that time period. I could have done entirely without the menage a trois in ...more
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Tessa Lunney is a novelist, poet, and occasional academic. In 2016 she won the prestigious Griffith University Josephine Ulrick Prize for Literature for 'Chess and Dragonflies' and the A Room Of Her Own Foundation Orlando Prize for Fiction for her story 'Those Ebola Burners Them'. She was also the recipient of a Varuna Fellowship. In 2013, she graduated from Western Sydney University with a Doctor ...more
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